R.E.M., 'Automatic for the People' Named after a slogan used in an Athens, Georgia, soul-food restaurant, Automatic for the People is a feast of Southern Gothic pop, combining the gossamer intricacies of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and the singalong wallop of the Beatles' Abbey Road.
Yet the album's crackle and empty-hallway echo are really a kind of protective armor for the defiant heart in Bono's lyrics ("One," "Ultra Violet [Light My Way]") and the real lesson of Achtung Baby's postmodern giggles: To appreciate the joys of heaven, sometimes you have to take a little walk through hell.
If In Utero is a record born of great crisis — mostly Cobain's personal war with overwhelming good fortune — it was made with concentrated purpose. Steve Albini's corrosion-is-bliss production does not flatter songs of tempered, layered drama such as "Pennyroyal Tea" (Cobain's definitive performance is on Unplugged).
But The Bends shocked everyone with its widescreen psychedelic glory, raising Radiohead to a very Seventies kind of U.K. art-rock godhead. The depressive ballad "Fake Plastic Trees" turned up in Clueless, in which Alicia Silverstone memorably tags the band as "complaint rock"; in big-bang dystopian epics like "High and Dry," Yorke's choirboy whimper runs laps around Jonny Greenwood's machinehead guitar heroics.
(What's the Story) Morning Glory? is considered to be a seminal record of the Britpop era and as one of the best albums of the nineties, and it appears in several charts as one of the greatest albums of all time. In 2010, Rolling Stone commented that "the album is a triumph, full of bluster, bravado and surprising tenderness.
Technically, this album isn't instrumental — Bilinda Butcher's dreamy croon wafts throughout, gently defining post-punk girlishness. Guitarist and resident genius Kevin Shields also sings sometimes. But the instrumental quality of the vocals — the fact that they matter as tone, not language — helps define Loveless' new paradigm.
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness also ranked at number 14 on the 1995 Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics' poll, and 487 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Track listing. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was intended as a two-record set.
Then The Chronic dropped, and the earth moved on Planet Hip-Hop. The sound is culled from George Clinton's funk, the images are loosely inspired by the ominous malfeasance of The Godfather, and it is all pulled together by a tall, skinny new kid from Long Beach, California, who delivers vivid ghetto stories and marijuana paeans in a light, singsongy drawl that seems the epitome of cool under fire.
Instead of choosing just one, Nas wanted to rock with all of them, and Faith Newman at Columbia Records backed him up, a decision that would forever change the way rap albums were made. At the time of Illmatic's release, Dr. Dre held sway over planet hip-hop in the wake of his landmark album The Chronic.
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is the debut studio album by the American hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, released November 9, 1993, on Loud Records and distributed through RCA Records. Recording sessions for the album took place during 1992 to 1993 at Firehouse Studio in New York City, and it was mastered at The Hit Factory.
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is the second album by the American indie rock band Neutral Milk Hotel. It was released in the United States on February 10, 1998 on Merge Records and in the United Kingdom in May 1998 on Blue Rose Records.
Their last album was actually made in heaven. Innuendo is a masterpiece. Their most solid album from start to finish. Innuendo, I must be Going Slightly Mad, and of course Queen's finest hour: The Show Must Go On Their last album just so happened to be there greatest one.
Weezer, 'Pinkerton' Rivers Cuomo poured all his self-loathing and loneliness into ten autobiographical songs on Weezer's second album, detailing his awkward love life with agonizing specificity, beginning with "Tired of Sex," where the rock & roll groupie grind has never sounded less appealing.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is the debut solo album by American singer and rapper Lauryn Hill. It was released on August 25, 1998, by Ruffhouse Records and Columbia Records. After touring with her former group Fugees, Hill became involved in a romantic relationship with Jamaican entrepreneur Rohan Marley, and shortly after, became pregnant with their child.
Slanted and Enchanted is the sound of sweet suburban boys who loved the Velvet Underground without ever wondering what "The Black Angel's Death Song" meant, and once Malkmus murmured the words "sha la la" without a trace of irony, out-of-tune guitars would never be the same.
Fear of a Black Planet is the third studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy. It was released on April 10, 1990, by Def Jam Recordings and Columbia Records. Public Enemy's production team the Bomb Squad sought to expand on the dense, sample-layered sound of the group's 1988 record It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.
Californication is the seventh studio album by American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, released on June 8, 1999 by Warner Bros. Records. Produced by Rick Rubin, it marked the return of John Frusciante, who had previously appeared on Mother's Milk (1989) and Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991), to replace Dave Navarro as the band's guitarist.
Oasis, 'Definitely Maybe' While stateside bands agonized over fame, Oasis announced, "Tonight, I'm a rock & roll star." Indeed, the title of this debut album — a blast of guitar muscle, sneering vocals, retro hooks and arrogant flash — is the only ambivalent thing about it.
For many Depeche Mode fans, Violator is the crowning glory of the boys' black-leather period. In "Sweetest Perfection," "Halo" and "World in My Eyes," they turn For many Depeche Mode fans, Violator is the crowning glory of the boys' black-leather period.
Throwing Copper is the second studio album by American alternative rock band Live, released on April 19, 1994 on former MCA Records subsidiary Radioactive Records. It was produced by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads and was recorded at Pachyderm Recording Studio.
The Slim Shady LP is the second studio album and major-label debut by American rapper Eminem, released on February 23, 1999 by Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records. Recorded in Ferndale, Michigan, following Eminem's recruitment by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, the album features production from Dr. Dre, the Bass Brothers, and Eminem himself.
The apotheosis of the Wu-Tang dynasty, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... is powered by the RZA's somehow off-balance, hyperdetailed production, Raekwon the Chef's verbal intercourse — lyrics so dense you need the Staten Island Rosetta stone to make sense of them — and Ghostface Killah's brilliant supporting role.
With that in mind, we've ranked the Best Rap Albums of the 90s. The classics you’ve played every day since elementary school, to the records you forgot existed, and maybe an album or two you didn’t even know about—all compiled in one place. Hit the jump and take a journey through hip-hop’s most vibrant decade. We do this for our culture.
Spiderland is the second and final studio album by the American rock band Slint. It was released on March 27, 1991, through Touch and Go Records. Featuring dramatically alternating dynamics and vocals ranging from spoken word to shouting, the album contains narrative lyrics that emphasize alienation.
A mad scientist who obviously doesn't get out of the lab much, DJ Shadow spends Endtroducing rewiring the Mo' Wax sound he helped invent. This snootiest of British dance labels made stars out of train-spotting DJs, hooking up countless samples and special effects into a hypnotic pastiche of tripping, hopping beats, and Shadow was its biggest star of all.
Pavement, 'Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain' Pavement's second full-length was less quirky and diffuse than their first and even yielded their career's only modest hit, "Cut Your Hair." Best of all, sweetly catchy songs such as "Gold Soundz" and "Range Life" showed that Pavement were more than just smirky indie rockers.
Rhyming over melodic funk with his trademark diction, Brooklyn's finest made what was almost an L.A. album, topped off with a loving tribute to the City of Angels. "Going Back to Cali" is a chilling counterpoint to the album's final three songs, answers to the beef with Death Row that haunted Biggie for the last year of his life.